Live Resin Guide

Published July 21, 2022
Live Resin Guide - Secret Nature

These days, cannabis users speak of live resin in reverential tones even if they don’t know exactly what it is. All that really needs to be known is that live resin tastes better and is more effective than other types of cannabinoid extracts, which is the reason behind its ever-growing popularity.

The details matter, though. What, exactly, is live resin, how is it made, and what does it contain? In this guide, we’ll provide all the details on live resin you need to know, compare it to other extract types, and consider the best ways to use this potent and flavorful form of cannabis extract.

What is live resin?

Live resin is a type of cannabinoid extract that removes terpenes from cannabis flower before they have a chance to oxidize. If cannabis is allowed to dry and cure normally, the terpenes it contains will degrade and no longer taste or smell as good as they once did.

Many cannabis growers have noticed over the years how their buds never seemed to smell quite as good in a jar as they did when they were still alive and filling the grow room. With the advent of live resin, you can make extracts that perfectly capture the flavor and aroma potential of cannabis in full bloom. 

What does live resin contain?

Live resin can contain both cannabinoids and terpenes or just cannabinoids. Some live resin extracts consist of the entire usable contents of cannabis flower, just extracted prior to curing. Others consist just of the terpenes found in flower, which are then combined with cannabinoids from a different source to make a complete extract.

How is live resin made?

The process of making live resin begins with flash-freezing cannabis buds moments after they’re harvested. This step replaces the traditional drying and curing process, making buds ready for extraction immediately after harvest.

From there, any number of extraction methods may be used to produce live resin concentrate from flash-frozen cannabis flowers. Popular extraction solvents include butane, alcohol, and CO2.

— Live resin vs. distillate

Distillate is a type of cannabis extract made using conventionally dried-and-cured cannabis buds. Some types of distillate consist of whole-plant extracts while others combine cannabinoids with terpenes lifted from cured cannabis.

— Live resin vs. rosin

Rosin is a type of cannabis extract produced using heat or pressure, resulting in a truly “solventless” concentrate. Since live resin can be made using practically any extraction method, some live resin cannabis products are also rosin. However, authentic “live rosin” is still relatively rare.

— Live resin vs. cured resin

Apparently seeking to capitalize on the live resin trend without any actual investment, some cannabis producers have started referring to products boosted with conventional terpenes as “cured resin.” The fact remains, though, that cured resin is the exact same thing as every other type of conventional cannabis terpene extract that existed before the advent of live resin.

— Live resin vs. botanical terpenes

In some products, only the terpenes are derived using live resin extraction, not the cannabinoids. It makes sense to compare live resin to botanical terpenes in this context, which consist of individual terpenes from non-cannabis sources cobbled together at exact ratios to replicate the terpene profiles of real cannabis strains.

Live resin terpenes taste better than botanical terpenes in almost every case. It’s very hard to mix botanical terpenes effectively, and they’re often included in higher-than-necessary concentrations, leading to a loud, harsh, and ultimately inauthentic flavors.

Why is live resin better?

Live resin is better partially because it simply tastes and smells better. The benefits of live resin are far from skin deep, however.

When terpenes oxidize, they also become less effective. By extracting terpenes before they’ve had a chance to degenerate, live resin ensures you experience the full benefits these powerful healing substances have to offer.

What is the best type of live resin?

The best live resin on the market is either rosin or CO2-extracted. CO2 is technically a solvent, but it appears to be harmless. Live resin isn’t necessarily high-quality just because it’s extracted well, though.

Live resin can only be excellent if it was extracted from excellent flower. The flower used to make live resin must have great genetics, be grown well, and be harvested right at its phenotype-specific peak.

What are the best live resin products?

When it comes to live resin, simple is usually best. Live resin vape cartridges and dabs are ideal, but there are high-quality options available even if you don’t like to smoke or vape.

Can I eat live resin?

Yes, there’s no reason you shouldn’t eat live resin. In addition to making cannabis extract taste better when you inhale it, terpenes act as natural flavoring ingredients that make live resin edibles taste better than any edibles you’ve ever tried before.

Are live resin gummies stronger?

Some users report that gummies containing live resin instead of conventional terpenes or non-cannabis flavoring ingredients offer enhanced effectiveness. Since the terpenes live resin gummies contain haven’t been oxidized and are still at their peak potential, these reports aren’t surprising.

Live resin gummies vs. regular gummies

Compared to gummies that aren’t boosted with live resin, conventional cannabis gummies might taste a little bit bland and feel less effective. In the absence of the natural flavoring provided by terpenes, gummy manufacturers often have to resort to questionable sweeteners, which could have a negative impact on your health.

The bottom line: Live resin makes a difference

Fads have a tendency to come and go in the cannabis industry. The benefits of live resin, however, are backed up by both scientific research and advanced technology to deliver genuine improvements to the cannabis experience in terms of both flavor and effectiveness.

Though it only came to the fore a few years ago, live resin is already becoming the standard for quality within the cannabis industry. Live resin is simply better, and this increased quality makes a real difference in the potency of cannabis products.

Live resin FAQ

Anything else you’d still like to know about live resin? Check the FAQ section below for answers:

1. Is live resin the same as wax?

No, live resin and wax are very different. The term “live resin” refers to a specific type of flash-frozen cannabis extract that can contain either cannabinoids and terpenes or terpenes alone. The term “wax,” on the other hand, is used to refer to any type of cannabis extract with a waxy consistency.

2. Is live resin the most potent type of cannabis extract?

Most users consider live resin to be the most potent type of cannabis extract due to the enhanced benefits offered by flash-frozen terpenes. Prevented from oxidizing during the curing process, the beneficial terpenes naturally found in cannabis are free to achieve their fullest potential.

3. Is live resin stronger than flower?

In terms of pure cannabinoid potency, live resin (60-90% THC) is usually quite a bit stronger than cannabis flower (20-30% THC). Since smokable cannabis flower has been through the drying and curing process, its terpenes are usually less potent than live resin terpenes as well.

4. How do you activate live resin?

Live resin is activated just like any other type of cannabis extract — by heating it to specific decarboxylation temperature of the cannabinoids it contains. Also, some types of live resin products, such as edibles, usually come pre-activated.

5. What consistency should live resin be?

The ideal consistency of live resin varies depending on the type of extraction method that was used to make it. One thing live resin should never be, though, is powdery.

6. How long does live resin stay in your system?

Just like any other type of cannabinoid extract, live resin can stay in your system for up to 30 days. Cannabinoids build up in your body cumulatively — they’ll stay in your system for closer to that 30-day limit if you use high doses of cannabinoids at high frequencies.

7. Is live resin worth it?

Nowadays, live resin doesn’t usually cost considerably more than other types of cannabis extracts, but the additional benefits it offers are immense. Not only does live resin taste better than other extracts, but it also seems to be more effective. Unless a cannabis company is charging you an absurd premium for its live resin products, going with live resin over conventional cannabinoid extracts is almost always the right choice.

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